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Planning your Research: Further Information PDF Print E-mail

There are many  things to consider when initiating a new research project at a field station (aside from filling out a Site Use Request Form, of course!).

An individual seeking to use KBS as a sabbatical location may need to arrange only housing and office space.  However, establishing a large research project can require arrangements for laboratory (bench) space, use of shared equipment, access to field sites, purchasing supplies, and housing for assistants and students.  This page summarizes and provides guidance on the most common things to consider.

Field Sites

Numerous aquatic and terrestrial field sites on available for research on KBS-owned lands.  The KBS Facilities Coordinator can provide guidance on the availability and use of specific sites on KBS lands.  Research on some KBS owned properties is coordinated by specific KBS faculty (Pond Lab facility, LTER lands).   Information on use of those sites is available from the specific KBS web pages.

Information on access to local, non-KBS lands (mostly public access lands and lakes) is available from the KBS Facilities Coordinator, but in most cases a researcher will need to contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for permits and approval for land use.

Use of space and equipment

Based on the information provided in the Site Use Form and discussions with the KBS director, fees for use of laboratory and office space will be determined.  Space assignment provides access to telephone, library, mail, photocopier, computers and other shared facilities.  There are various options for office and bench space:

  • Office space is available in communal rooms at cubicle desks in the Academic and Stack Bldg, which are connected to each other.  Some private office space is also available in the Stack Bldg and in the Boat House, which also offers laboratory space for visiting researchers.
  • Bench space is available on a limited basis in the Stack Bldg., but is more typically available to visiting researchers in the Boat House, Pond Lab Bldg, Field Lab Bldg. and Greenhouse.  Additionally, some specialized labs in the Academic Bldg (molecular lab, microscope labs, sample processing lab, etc.) may be available to visitors, but require approval from the faculty member responsible for maintaining each room.

Costs associated with use of  specialized KBS equipment vary widely depending on the type of equipment.  The KBS Facilities Coordinator maintains a stockroom for shared equipment.  Although KBS owns an impressive amount of sophisticated instrumentation for conducting ecological and evolutionary research, much of that equipment was purchased on individual faculty grants and resides in resident faculty laboratories.  Requests to use a particular instrument must be directed to the faculty member responsible for maintaining that instrument.

Visiting researchers should contact the KBS Facilities Coordinator for information on what equipment and instrumentation is generally available and to whom requests to use that equipment should be directed.

Billing/purchasing Arrangements

Individual P.I.s may establish credit accounts with the KBS administration to enable the purchase of supplies from MSU Stores or other vendors that give discounts to MSU accounts.  This is typically done in the case of individual P.I.s who have grants administered from their home institution, but foresee needing to make purchases for supplies while at KBS.

Mail, Email and Computer Facilities

New researchers to KBS are assigned mailboxes in a general mail room on the 3rd floor Academic Building by the administrative staff.  If a P.I. brings students and assistants they will all be listed on that box under the name of the P.I. and should have their mail addressed as such.

KBS has a local computer network using VAX and NT servers.  Visitors may request from the KBS Computer Manager network accounts on this system, which also provides an email box.

Computers for general use and general access to the internet are available in the library and computer workroom in the Academic Bldg.  If researchers have been assigned cubicle space in one of the three communal rooms, there are also general use computers available in those rooms.  In addition to internet browser software and telnet capability, general-use computers have Microsoft Office providing  Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint.  In addition, some computers have graphical and statistical software installed or available thorough the local KBS network. Nearly all KBS computers provide access to MSU library electronic databases.  Image analysis equipment (chip cameras, flatbed and slide scanners), are also available on selected computers.  All are networked to public, black and white or color printers.  A microcomputer lab with access to a wide array of software via the MSU network is available in the Academic Bldg, but requires an MSU-ID (pilot account).


There is a pay-as-you-go photocopier available in the library.  A larger photocopier is available in the mailroom, but use requires a KBS account number.  Researchers who foresee the need for extensive photocopying may obtain account numbers from the administrative staff.


Housing for short and long-term visitors is available in the form of:

  • cabins - cheap, communal, bring your own bedding
  • dorms - typically dual occupancy bedroom, shared bath
  • apartment - typically dual occupancy bedroom, kitchen, living room
  • communal house - get a bed, share a house
  • rental houses - range in size from 1-4 bedroom , some furnished, some not
  • Visiting Research Faculty and Staff Housing Rates

Details on each of these options including costs and availability, are available by contacting the KBS Conference Center for cabins, dorms, and apartments (269 671-2412), or by contacting the KBS housing office for communal and rental houses (269 671-2501).  In addition, there are apartment and other housing options available in the local community of Richland.

International Visitors

Visitors arriving from a foreign country may have special Visa needs.  In general, requirements differ depending upon status as a student or researcher.  Full details can be found at the MSU Internationals Studies web page http://www.isp.msu.edu/.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 20:10